As an introduction to this post, I should say upfront that my mom stayed at home with us so I just assumed that was What Was Done. Or perhaps I just assumed it was the best that could be done and so I didn’t have to think really hard about what I would do when I have children. I still don’t have to think hard about it. I’m extraordinarily grateful that I have the opportunity to stay home and raise my children. It is a blessing. It is a struggle, yes, and I am also aware of the fact that not everyone is granted such an opportunity – even if they might want it! Things sometimes just don’t work out. In my case though they do and I’m delighted (and tired).
When offered the chance to read In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms by Dr. Laura Schlessinger, I didn’t waste time saying yes. When I was 17 and 18 (thereabouts) I used to delight in listening to the good Dr. talk to her radio guests. I could never image being in a position where I would be brave enough to call in and let her harass me as she did her callers. I think she’s probably a personality that it’s safe to say you are either going to like or you are not going to like. She’s not a person that allows for much gray. That said, I typically like her although I don’t always appreciate her hard hitting approach to life. It’s been eons since I’ve listened to her at all and so I was curious to dive into this book.
In her usual way, she doesn’t fail to pack a punch. It’s exceedingly clear that she thinks that being a SAHM is clearly the best choice for any family. She states her message boldly and without apology. However, she does present it in a little bit of a tongue-in-cheek manner at first which is kind of amusing once you figure out exactly where she is going with her argument. She’s not about to back down from what she believes and feels is right so if you want a no-nonsense book to read about being a SAHM – look no further. This is your ticket. Although I do tend to agree with her logic, it can (and most often does) come across as being brash and In Your Face. That doesn’t really win an audience but it does give listeners and readers pause. Fascinating personality, to be sure.
Another book I read recently about being being a SAHM is a book from Concordia Publishers entitled Celebrate Home! I was thinking it was a book to encourage mothers who stay at home how to make the home a more welcoming and fun environment. What it is is a book of encouragement and “you can do it!” type of message to mothers who have recently decided to make the move from the corporate world to the laundry room. Author Angie Peters made the decision to stay at home when she had her first child and she admits that she struggled a lot. She mentions the fact that when you start a new job, there is usually some kind of employee manual or supervisor that helps you find your way around. There are no such manuals available for SAHM’s so she decided to write this book so that the transition from work to home would be easier on other mothers who made the same decision that she did.
The message in this book is far more upbeat and encouraging. She tries to answer as many questions to new stay-at-home mothers as she possibly can while providing resources to help the floundering mother along as best as possible. Celebrate Home! is a good introduction book to the home and I found it encouraging, even though I didn’t transition but just was home. A valuable resource if you find yourself in such a position.
Bottom line in both of these books: arguing over which is better – to stay at home or keep your job outside of the home- is not the point. The point is the hearts of your children. Who holds them and why? The wonderful gift we’ve been given as mothers is the opportunity to nurture our children — to be life givers. Both women are of the same mind on that one and that’s exactly where our minds need to be. How can we improve in that task? If we encourage each other in THAT then I think we’re doing good!
Carrie comes by her book obsession honestly, having descended from a long line of bibliophiles. She blogs about books regularly at Reading to Know.